Friday, November 15, 2013

BOC Charm Swap 2013: My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

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Welcome to the reveal and blog hop for the 2013 Art Charm Swap and fundraising auction for the Beads of Courage program, which supports seriously ill children in many specialist hospitals internationally. This year thirty seven bead artists have participated, by creating original charms in the theme of "Love", exchanging them under the inspired guidance of Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions. This event culminates today with the opening of the Ebay auction, selling charms donated by each artist, with all funds being donated to Beads of Courage. So visit our blogs, check out the charms on Ebay, and bid on any or all... they make amazing and unique Holiday gifts!

I wish to offer my deepest thanks to Jennifer for her dedicated efforts, year after year, in making this an event I eagerly anticipate. Thanks also to my fellow participants for sharing your beautiful designs and wonderful stories. A complete list including links can be found at the end of this post.

My charm is a depiction of a wild rose upon a heart-shaped background, hand-sculpted with Kato artist-quality polymer clay. The words of the famous Robert Burns poem are inscribed around the edges of the heart, the back is textured with chalk pastel. The charm is 1-1/8" (25mm) tall x 1" (30mm) wide. I have donated two for the auction. *Oops, Jennifer has informed me that she has THREE of my charms... sweet!* I will write a bit more about the process of creating my charm in a future post, as well as share some photos of the wonderful charms I received from fellow artists.    

Over millennia and across a wide range of civilizations, roses have symbolized love, passion, beauty, devotion... but also intrigue, fragility and rebirth. Red blooms especially tended to have unfortunate associations with blood in ancient myths. And then there are those thorns...

There is a personal connection for me, with both roses and Bobbie Burns. Hubby and I married on a rather nontraditional date, January 25, which just happens to be Bobbie Burns Day. This memorial to the Bard is celebrated with great enthusiasm internationally, wherever Scottish ancestry is proudly claimed, and my part of Maritime Canada is no exception. Hubby is a descendant of Clan Urquhart.

Remains of Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, Scotland

I am not what anyone could consider a big "flower nut", so cut blooms have made infrequent visits in our home. The exceptions occurred after the birth of each of our four sons, when I was treated by Hubby to a fragrant bouquet of red roses, adorned with a simple and heartfelt: "Thank you for blessing me with a beautiful baby boy". I still have those little cards tucked away ♥♥♥♥

"My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose" was recorded frequently during the strong folk music revival of the 1960's and 1970's, but below is my favorite version. This audio recording features an adaptation of the words transcribed by Robbie Burns, with traditional melody, sung by the late Eva Cassidy. Sadly, both the Scottish Bard and the shy American musician died in their 30's.  Since her death, Eva's recordings have attained a popularity they were denied during her short life. This is four minutes well spent. ♥ Some things are eternal: simple, heartfelt words; a gently crafted melody; a haunting, unaffected voice; and the gift of undying love. 

 O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That’s sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.*

*Original words by Robert Burns, 1794 

Here are the participants in this year's Charm Swap:

Jen Cameron   Glass Addictions

Toltec Jewels   Jewel School Friends

Vanessa Gilkes   Culturezine

Caroline Dewison   Blueberribeads

Lesley Watt   The Gossiping Goddess

Susan Kennedy   Sue Beads

Nancy Dale   NEDbeads

Alicia Marinache   All the Pretty Things

Cassi Paslick   Beads: Rolling Downhill

Alenka Obid   Pepita Handmade

Renetha Stanziano   Lamplight Crafts

Shelley Graham Turner   Fabric of my Life

Monique Urquhart   A Half-Baked Notion

Shai Williams   Shaiha's Ramblings

Lennis Carter   Wind Bent

Cheri Reed   Creative Designs by Cheri

Moriah Betterly   MLBetterly

Perri Jackson   Shaktipaj Designs

Mallory Hoffman   For the Love of Beads

Ginger Bishop   lilmummylikes

Jean Peter   Eclectic Avenue

Linda Florian   Lily's of the Valley

Patricia Pulliam   Rustic Studio

Karin Grosset Grange   Ginkgo et Coquelicot

Julie Bowen   Autochthonous Evolved

Susan Delaney   Lady Flowers by Susan

Emma Todd   A Polymer Penchant

Carolyn Chenault   Carolyn Chenault

Terri Del Signore   Artisticaos

Cory Tompkins   Tealwater Designs

Cheryl (Lee) Koopman   Strega Jewellry

Lori Bowring Michaud   Artfully Ornamental

Andrea Glick   ZenithJade Creations

Jacqueline Carlson   Bead Gypsy

Michelle McCarthy   Firefly Design Studio

Charlene Bausinger Jacka   Clay-Space

Kristi Bowman   Kristi Bowman Designs

And remember to visit the Ebay auction and choose your favorite charms. Thanks for visiting and for supporting Beads of Courage



  1. What a really lovely song, and a perfect charm, and indeed such personal connections. I'm feel so blessed to have one of your beauties, and I definitely will treasure it. I'm so happy to have connected with you!! :)

  2. Monique you did an absolutely beautiful job with your charms...a real work of art! So much thought and effort put into the design. Kudos to you!! ~ xxoo Shelley

  3. I am crazy about your charm. I think my daughter will be engaged soon and I am going to make up a necklace for her in anticipation, with your fantastic charm, and tuck it away for that happy day.

    Susan Delphine Delaney

  4. Wow, just wow!! It's really quite stunning and I love all the details you included in the charm itself and your lovely post.

  5. I loved reading about the depth of thought you put into the theme of your very-well-crafted and detailed charm, one of which I was lucky enough to receive. It's obvious you were highly passionate about the ideas behind your wonderful charm, and it's heartwarming to read about it. I can't wait to read about your process! - Julie

  6. I was one of the lucky people to receive one of your gorgeous charms. It's one of my favorites!

  7. I am lucky to have received one of these beautiful charms! Now that I know the inspiration behind it's creation, it means that much more. It is a perfect match to some beads I was going to use to make my mom's Christmas bracelet and I know she will just love it.

  8. Your charms are gorgeous and there are wonderful stories and thoughts behind them!

  9. I love the story behind your charm, which makes me love the charm even more (if that's even possible!). Thank you for sharing your story, participating in the swap, and for helping to raise money for Beads of Courage! FYI~you actually have 3 charms that will be auctioned. One must have been a charm I selected for the person who decided to donate the charms she would get to the auction.

  10. Such beautiful hearts! And a lovely story, that mirrors my family's --my dad would always get my mom red roses after a birth too (4 of us as well), and on Mother's Day he would get her red roses again, one for each child.

    My husband is of Scottish ancestry (the Clark Clan) and we've had many a Robert Burns supper celebration!

  11. What a great post! Your charms are beautiful!

  12. Oh your charms are just special! I love roses and what an interesting story to go along with it. Lovely post and whoever receives one of your charms will have a treasure.

  13. I am sorry to only get to this now! I LOVE your charm - such detail! So Beautiful! I cherish the one I received!! Also, wanted to tell you that I recently moved from NB to Saskatchewan. Was in NB for 3 years. Oh how I miss the ocean!!! So glad I got one of your charms!!

  14. I love everything about your charm,- the story, the song, the final form it took. I am finding myself moved to tears a whole bunch today. inexpressibly sweet.......

  15. Thank you Monique for the charm that is definitely one of my favorites, and more so for introducing me to the two artists you chose to help explain your inspiration. I was not familiar with either. Your post was beautifully written as well. My best to you!

  16. Wonderful charms!!! I love the beautiful flower!

  17. Beautiful post, Monique - it must be wonderful to know you have deep, deep roots (we all have them, but rarely can we trace them back more than a few generations). Your charm is absolutely gorgeous ~ very sweet.

  18. Your charm is amazing, with so much energy and care placed into it.

  19. Monique- this is a wonderful charity- such a unique venture. I've been to the etsy site and just seeing all the charms there is amazing. Yours is truly beautiful. Congrats to you for your generous use of your talents for such a worthy cause:)

  20. Oh Monique!!! What a great job!!!!

  21. Oops - I'm typing in the dark (too lazy to get up and switch on the light) so I think I either just submitted an incomplete comment or deleted it. :D
    Monique, I know it has been said already but your Rose Charm is indeed "charming" and lovely. You did a marvelous job for a wonderful cause.

  22. Beautiful..and that red is really vibrant.. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments..


I love your comments and read each one! I am happy to reply to anyone who has an email attached to their profile, and I love doing just that (plus I was brought up to say "thanks" LOL). I don't usually reply here on the blog, but I will if you are a "no-reply blogger" with a question. Know that I appreciate EVERYONE who takes time to drop me a line!

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